5 Diabetes Diagnoses You Might Not Heard of Before

The CDC estimates more than 25.8 million patients in the U.S. living with a certain type of diabetes. The most common types you will hear are type 2, gestational, and type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diagnoses make for 5% of the total. Type 2 is the most common, constituting 90% of all the cases. Gestational diabetes makes 8% of pregnancies.

However, diabetes management programs American Forkand other places cite other uncommon diagnoses for the disease. The people diagnosed with these conditions will need to consult dietitians and follow strict regimes to manage the disease. These diagnoses include:


LADA is slow, progressive, and easy to confuse for type 2 diabetes, but it is a type 1 diagnosis. People with this diagnosis will not experience ketosis or weight loss. They might not need insulin therapy. No wonder some professionals call LADA diabetes type 1.5. LADA will have characteristics common to type 2 and 1, but there are some clinical distinctions. Patients will not have high cholesterol or blood pressure and will have no history of the disease in the family. LADA affects people who are not obese and over 35 years of age.


MODY accounts for up to 5% of all young people diagnosed with diabetes. It is monogenetic, resulting from a defect in the genes. The defects will not cause a resistance to insulin but will blunt the capacity of the beta-cell for releasing insulin. MODY is easy to misdiagnose as type 1 but will have features such as hypertension, abdominal obesity, and hyperlipidemia. MODY patients need oral medications. The disease initially shows up in adolescence but can stay undiagnosed for years.


Someone with a pancreas injury, either from disease or trauma, can get this type of diabetes. CFRD is common among patients diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Patients with CFRD will display signs of type 2 and type 1. The inflammation in the pancreas will reduce the mass of the beta-cell. Pulmonary infections will result in insulin resistance. Diagnosis is made using the usual criteria for checking for glucose and will not change dietary recommendations given to the patient with cystic fibrosis.

Cushing's Syndrome

Diabetes often accompanies Cushing's syndrome. The excess production of cortisol due to the disease leads to a decrease in insulin levels. The hormone can also stimulate gluconeogenesis in skeletal muscle and the liver, reducing the synthesis of glycogen and its uptake. This mostly happens in patients with insulin secretion defects. Every Cushing's syndrome patient must be screened for diabetes.

Antiretroviral-Associated diabetes

People who are using HIV treatments can develop diabetes associated with hyperglycemia and insulin resistance. Most of the medicines use protease inhibitors that can interfere with glucose transporters and cause insulin resistance. When cells are unable to extract glucose from the bloodstream, there is a decreased secretion of insulin. A diagnosis of this diabetes will not interfere with the dietary requirements for HIV patients.

To manage any diabetes, a patient needs empowering as the disease can be taxing. When combined with other illnesses, management becomes even more complicated. The uncommon types of diabetes are difficult to manage with simple lifestyle changes. The patient must also take the right medication and stay active.